Since East Rapti River is a part of Chitwan National Park, it plays as an important tourist attraction for a canoe ride along the river.
The word ‘Rapti’ may refer to many geographical loci, including the municipality of Dang, Rapti municipality in Narayani zone of Nepal, Rapti zone itself, or Rapti river. And even ‘Rapti River’ might denote one of the two – East Rapti River or West Rapti River.
EAST RAPTI RIVER
It is a small river draining the Chitwan Valley in Nepal. Flowing from east to west, it forms the northern border of the Chitwan National Park, also joining the Narayani River inside the protected area. It flows through the Mahabharat Range. The tributaries: from left - Samari, Karra, Kukhreni, Reu, Panchand, and right – Lothther and Manahari.
WEST RAPTI RIVER
West Rapti River locates in both the country, Nepal and India. Draining the Rapti Zone of Nepal, this river flows from the Mid- Western Region to the Awadh and Purwanchal regions of Uttar Pradesh state of India. Then, finally, it joins the major left-bank tributary of Ganges, Ghaghara, known as Karnali inside Nepal. The tributaries: from left – Lungri Khola, Jhimruk Khola, Ami River, and Rohini river, whereas from right – Arun Khola.
The river is significantly known for its Janajati ethnic groups. In history, this river was known by the name “Airavati River”. The river was a tributary of the Sarayu, one of the sacred rivers of Buddhist midland.
IN EAST RAPTI RIVER:
Since East Rapti River is a part of Chitwan National Park, it plays as an important tourist attraction for a canoe ride along the river, and it has a closer view of natural wetland habitation. If you are lucky enough, with crocodiles basking in the sun, you might even spot many other rare species of birds and animals that come there to sip water at the river bank.
In the past few decades, this river has also become a habitat to Gharials, a critically endangered crocodile species. Conservationists are very content to see the number growing despite its low survival rate in the natural habitat.
HYDROPOWER AND IRRIGATION
IN WEST RAPTI RIVER:
Few tributaries of this river are currently contributing to irrigation facilities and hydroelectric projects contributing to Pyuthan District.
Nepal Government has also been working on a master plan with hydroelectricity generation and high dams for irrigation projects for the development of the Rapti River basin. They believe that this project will directly benefit various districts in Province 5 like Rolpa, Pyuthan, Dang, Kapilvastu, and Banke.